Real education reform long overdue in Ontario

But the Progressive Conservatives promise nothing more than a disappointing package that ensures education status quo in the province

Real education reform long overdue in OntarioBy Angela MacLeod and Jason Clemens The Fraser Institute The Ontario Progressive Conservatives’ recently-released election platform shows they’ve opted for the status quo in kindergarten-to-Grade-12 education. That’s unfortunate, because the province’s education system is in dire need of reform. The platform the Opposition PCs offered as they prepare for next year’s provincial election contains almost no substantive…

Alberta’s independent schools provide needed choice, value

Despite activist claims, most independent schools in Alberta are not bastions for the rich, but they do fill a critical education niche

Alberta’s independent schools provide needed choice, valueIn Alberta, school choice is under attack. Alongside several teacher unions and associations, groups such as Public Interest Alberta and SOS Alberta want to reduce the choices available for families outside the public education system by pressuring the government to eliminate provincial funding for independent schools. SOS (Support Our Students) Alberta, for example, claims that…

What Betsy DeVos could learn about school choice from Ontario

Unfortunately, the U.S. Education Secretary would have to visit the past to find truly innovative approaches to school choice

What Betsy DeVos could learn about school choice from OntarioBetsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s Education Secretary, is charged with promoting school choice. She was about to visit Ontario recently but her visit was cancelled. One cannot but wonder if DeVos’ advisors learned of how Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal party clawed its way to power by smothering a truly innovative school choice program in its cradle.…

Kudos to Toronto, but independent schools still face discrimination

Subjecting parents choosing such schools for their children to extra costs is discriminatory

Kudos to Toronto, but independent schools still face discriminationBy Derek J. Allison Deani Van Pelt and Beth Green Cardus You could call it a step forward in fairness for Canadians who send their kids to independent schools. The Toronto Board of Health recently recommended the extension of its student nutrition programs to qualified independent schools. That means more than 300 independent schools could…

Toppling the misperceptions about home-schooling

Home-schooling successes show that parents and kids can be far more responsible for decisions about their education than imagined

Toppling the misperceptions about home-schoolingBy Deani Van Pelt and Beth Green Cardus Back-to-school means different things for many of Canada’s five million school-age children. For an increasing share of students in almost every province, it means something other than attending a neighbourhood public school. Home-schooling, while still small in overall uptake – Manitoba has the highest share at 1.5…

Back to school: choosing wisely for your children

Independent schools achieve a better balance of good academic, civic, religious and spiritual outcomes

Back to school: choosing wisely for your childrenParents, what are the top three things to pack in your kid’s school bag? These days, back-to-school supplies like coloured pencils and geometry sets run a poor second place to YouTube. At the end of the summer vacation, when I checked out videos about the best hairstyles, the best first-day-back outfits and hacks for making…

English public schools becoming less popular in Saskatchewan

French schools increased their share of students, as did Catholic schools. And independent schools and home-schooling options are becoming far more popular

English public schools becoming less popular in SaskatchewanChoosing a school other than your local English public school is increasingly popular in Canada and Saskatchewan is no exception. According to a recent analysis of Ministry of Education enrolment data by the Fraser Institute, the share of students attending English public schools in Saskatchewan showed one of the greatest declines in Canada over a…

The shift away from public schools in B.C.

B.C. policy-makers would be wise to take note that independent school enrolment is increasing and public school numbers are down

The shift away from public schools in B.C.By Angela MacLeod and Deani Van Pelt The Fraser Institute Funding for independent schools may well be reviewed by a new NDP government in British Columbia despite a growing preference for independent schools by B.C. families. But the enrolment numbers bear scrutiny before any major changes in policy are made by the New Democrats, if they…

How school systems respond to the pressure to be inclusive

Fundamental to human rights in Canada is access to a public education system that offers choice and quality to the taxpayers who pay for it

How school systems respond to the pressure to be inclusiveChoice and opportunity should be fundamental to public education, but sometimes the argument gets muddied by peculiar personal perspectives. We’ve seen an unprecedented movement in Canadian publicly-supported schools to accommodate the needs and rights of minority groups such as LGBTQ, with the introduction of gender-neutral bathrooms and curriculum updates. Social justice issues have taken up…

Treating everyone the same is bad for learning

The solution is not to opt for the lowest common denominator but instead to expand the levels of genuine school choice for students and parents

Treating everyone the same is bad for learningThe best teachers, the best schools, and the best education systems have caught on to something that parents already know: treating everyone the same works against growth and development. A small grassroots coalition called One Public Education Now (OPEN) is calling for the elimination of the separate Catholic school system in Ontario, claiming that doing…